14:50 Wetherby Sat 11 January 2020
Looked a very promising novice for the north back in 2017/18. Things haven't gone to plan over fences since, and he only made it to the track twice last season. Makes seasonal return with a bit to prove but not fully dismissed.
C&D winner on his penultimate start when well-fancied (sent off 7/2f). Could never get involved most recently at Haydock (3m; heavy) when stepped up to 3m for the first time off a 4lb higher mark. Drop back in trip is a positive.
Has his first start over hurdles since finishing third back in August 2017 at Chateaubriant (2m1f; soft) when trained in France. Struggling for form over fences the last twice, including when fourth here last month. Vulnerable to improvers.
Reverts to hurdles off the same mark he scored off when winning at Kempton (2m5f; good) in February 2017. Followed up maiden chase success with a pair of respectable efforts in defeat. Claims if transferring that ability back over hurdles.
Ran as was expected when a distant fifth on stable debut for new connections at Doncaster (2m3f; good to soft) recently. Dropped 5lb for that, but still looks high enough in the weights. Opposed until offering more encouragement.
Opened his account over hurdles over 2m at this track on his penultimate start. Has gone in again since then, and now makes handicap debut off a fair enough mark. Top stable are going great guns and he is a major player.
Makes UK debut for new connections after failing to build on initial early promise in Ireland for Gordon Elliot. 6lb higher mark to contend with in this country which makes life even harder. Best watched for now.
Got back to winning ways when beating Mr Scrumpy at Doncaster (2m3f; good to soft) last time out. 4lb worse off with that rival who is open to vastly more improvement. Never won off a mark as high as this before.
Consistent sort who has never finished out of the first three in any of his seven starts under rules. Followed up successful handicap debut when runner-up at Doncaster (2m3f; good to soft) last month. Up 2lb but hard to see him out of the frame.
Bit of a risky proposition given he has been pulled-up on two of his last three starts. However, both of those runs were over fences and his record over hurdles is more encouraging. Difficult to see him reversing form with Mr Scrumpy.
Course winner on this card last year, and took a step back in the right direction when third at Haydock (2m3f; soft) last month. Only 1lb below last winning mark, and dangerous to rule out if market speaks in his favour.
Placed on both of his two starts over hurdles (albeit beaten a long way on each occasion). Makes handicap debut and should be winning soon but this is competitive. Receives weight from all of his rivals, but others have achieved more.
Last Year's Winner
|T: C ByrnesJ: Adam Wedge|
Big Bad Bear (6/4), Mr Scrumpy (5/2), West To The Bridge (11/1), Storm Rising (11/1), Zig Zag (11/1), Sakhee's City (12/1), River Frost (14/1), According To Alex (28/1), Demi Sang (33/1), Sam's Gunner (50/1), Authorizo (50/1), Ball D'Arc (80/1)
- Big Bad Bear
- Mr Scrumpy
- Sam's Gunner
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